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Morken: Come along on my pre-rut vacation

Eric Morken

If you are a whitetail fanatic, you are likely starting to lose sleep right about now.

It's that time of year. Some people dream about bow hunting during the peak rut when that intense chasing phase is going on, but I will take the pre-rut period as my favorite time of the season. There's a number of factors that go into it. Truthfully, I have never really experienced what that peak-rut period has to offer with firearms season in Minnesota always falling right in the middle of it. Many areas I hunt also have doe-to-buck ratios that are heavily favored toward does, so I don't believe mature bucks have to travel far to find a doe in heat.

I have always experienced my best hunts in late-October and the first week of November as the bigger bucks cruise longer distances looking for the first estrus doe. This year, I am devoting almost 10 days from Oct. 27 through Nov. 7 to a tree stand, and I'll be writing about my experiences during this time. My plan is to write frequent updates on our outdoor page at www.echopress.com/sports/outdoors and post videos with those. The goal is to give the reader an idea of what I'm seeing each day, what the conditions are like, why I am set up where I am, etc. I will be hunting both Minnesota and North Dakota during this time. The Minnesota hunts will be predominantly in hill country and river bottom where I will focus on hunting the downwind side of doe-bedding areas or the transition lines on ridges between bedding areas.

My North Dakota hunts are on flat-bottom terrain and entirely new pieces of property for me this season after devoting a couple weeks to knocking on doors last spring. I spent a weekend scouting out there this summer and hunted a few days over opening weekend, but I will definitely be learning on the fly here. I'll have to be mobile to adjust to what I'm seeing. That means the potential for hunting both from a tree stand I bring in on my back to setting up on the ground if the situation calls for that.

For anyone who follows the guys on The Hunting Public YouTube channel, they are devoted to motivating existing hunters and creating new ones. Their videos are not about ending every day with a big buck, but rather giving the viewer information on the what, where and why questions that surround every hunt they go on.

That's kind of my goal with these updates through the end of October and first week in November. I want to give readers an idea of exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing as it pertains to the terrain, weather factors and deer movement.

Maybe a couple bucks will hit the ground. Maybe I'll strike out. Hopefully, we can all have some fun and learn a few things together through what is an amazing time of year to be a bowhunter.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229